Readers told me 3 books they loved, 1 book they hated, and what they’re reading right now. In turn, I’m choosing 1 mainstream pick, 1 eccentric pick, and 1 YA/memoir/nonfiction pick for each reader. (Or more, if I can’t help myself.)
Love: A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Girl Meets God, Blue Like Jazz
Didn’t care for: One Thousand Gifts
Last read: Going Clear, Strange Fire
Spiritual memoir: Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
Eccentric: Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts
If you have the tiniest bit of interest in L’Engle: Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices
Journalistic: Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal
Em thought she’d be hard to pick books for, so I’m a little scared! She loves spiritual memoir and straight-talking nonfiction, and Pastrix, though a little too-cool-for-it’s-own-good in places, seems right up her alley. Em’s a journalist, and Ballad of the Whiskey Robber is a real-life caper that’s more outrageous than fiction. (Don’t let the ugly title put you off.)
Listening for Madeleine has a fascinating structure: it’s a composite portrait of L’Engle, drawn through more than 50 interviews with those who knew her best. And Hatching Twitter is a you-just-can’t-make-this-stuff-up account of twitter’s early days—a good choice for a social media manager.
Love: The Goldfinch, A Moveable Feast, 100 Years of Solitude
Hated (despised!): Gone Girl
Last read: The Fault in Our Stars, The Great Gatsby
Erin clearly isn’t afraid of old or slower-paced books, so I’m recommending MFK Fisher’s 1942 classic How to Cook a Wolf. The Paris Wife is a risky pick because I didn’t love it, but it’s such a good companion to A Moveable Feast I have to include it.
Love: The Eyre Affair, The Invention of Wings, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Meh: The Lovely Bones
Last read: Allegiant, Cuckoos Calling
I Capture the Castle‘s charming narrator reminds me of Guernsey’s Juliet, and the books share a similar form: one story is told through letters, the other through journal entries. When You Reach Me shares the time-bending aspect of The Eyre Affair and another book is crucial to both plots.
Maisie Dobbs is the first novel in a British detective series featuring a wartime setting and strong character development, along the lines of Guernsey and The Invention of Wings.
How did I do? What books would YOU recommend to these readers?
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